Bugs bite cancer

Joel MacLeod was diagnosed with cancer when he was five and the Ponoka Elementary School student has been in remission for four years.

Volunteers Nathan Molander

Joel MacLeod was diagnosed with cancer when he was five and the Ponoka Elementary School student has been in remission for four years.

“He’s now 10 and healthy,” said his mother Kim MacLeod on Friday night at Red Deer’s 8th Relay for Life to raise money for cancer research, community support programs and advocacy.

It’s also the fourth year MacLeod, along with family and friends, have raised money under the banner the Ladybug Ladies, named after the lucky insects and in honour of her son she used to call “bug.”

The 12-hour event at Crossroads Church brought together participants to celebrate the lives of people who have survived cancer, remember those who have been lost and raise money to fight the disease.

The Ladybugs raised $11,371 this year, beating the $10,000 they raised in 2008.

“I never thought we’d beat last year’s. Especially this year with the oil field so slow. That blows my mind,” said MacLeod decked out in a rain poncho as it drizzled.

Organizers hoped to raise more than $330,000.

About 800 people on 81 teams gathered at the relay where teams of 10 took turns walking or running around the track throughout the night and morning until 7 a.m.

The relay, put on by the Canadian Cancer Society — Alberta/Northwest Territories, began with 130 people taking the survivors’ victory lap. Luminaries were lit during a ceremony at dusk to honour to loved ones.

“It’s very moving experience. It’s hard to put into words,” said MacLeod.

Next Friday, Stettler will host its first Relay For Life.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month